The day Ryan Day first arrived in Columbus to take over the Buckeye offense, Corey Dennis was there to greet him.
Three years ago, Day was hired by Urban Meyer to coach the Ohio State quarterbacks and from that time, Dennis has been right alongside him, learning how Day wants things done with the most important position in sports.
When quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich left Ohio State for Texas following the 2019 season, Day immediately set his sights on Dennis, who was on his way to coach the quarterbacks at Colorado State.
Despite never coaching a position of his own before, Dennis had exactly what Day was looking for in quarterback coach.
“I think two things. One, again, I wanted continuity,” Day said. “So I knew Corey is invested here for a while. That was certainly important. But I think when you’re dealing with a quarterback, for me, it has to be done the way that we’ve done it here.
“And when someone else starts bringing in their different opinions or ‘we read it this way,’ we don’t have time for that. We know what works here. We have a system in place that’s really efficient. We feel strongly that we know how to develop quarterbacks.”
That is not to say that Yurcich wasn’t doing it the way Day wanted, but that by bringing in somebody who was unfamiliar with the way things were done, the learning curve would put the entire offense behind as they head into a 2020 season where the expectations are once again at a championship level.
Even though Dennis has yet to coach his own position, only running backs coach Tony Alford and defensive line coach Larry Johnson have been at Ohio State longer than the Buckeyes’ newest position coach. He even predated Ryan Day by two years.
And much as Day was thrust into a new role during Urban Meyer’s suspension in 2018, Dennis essentially took over for Day in helping quarterback Dwayne Haskins get ready for what turned out to be the greatest season for an Ohio State quarterback of all time.
Over Day’s first three years at OSU, he saw enough from Corey Dennis to convince him that he was ready to take over the quarterback position.
“Since I got here, Corey’s kind of been my right-hand man,” Day said. “And we’ve spent a lot of time in that meeting room together. And he knows exactly how we teach things. And he’s got a tremendous relationship with the quarterbacks here. He’s done a good job in recruiting and has had a hand in a lot of stuff. But I feel great with not only the fact that he can teach the way we teach it, but also we need some continuity in that room. Corey is a young coach who has a really bright future.”
The continuity aspect is huge for Day, as this will now be three years in a row with a new quarterbacks coach for the Buckeyes. They have gone from Day in 2018, to Yurcich in 2019, to Dennis moving forward.
In hiring a young coach with a young family at a place most coaches would crawl through glass to be, Day believes he finally has a quarterbacks coach who will be as invested as he was when he came to Ohio State.
“The best thing about having someone like Corey who is young and really sharp is everything you invest in him you’re going to get back,” Day said. “That’s what I love. Sometimes when you have somebody older, that’s not the case. And so he’s going to be here for the long haul and that’s a huge deal.”